Upside-down creativity

Are you more of an early bird than a night owl or vice versa? If you’re at you’re at your best in the morning. Then your creative peak may actually be in the evening. In contrast, if you’re an evening person, then the optimum time for creative musings may be in the morning.

Research from Albion College (US) shows that while we tackle analytical tasks best when we’re on the ball, we’re better at creative tasks when we’re more tired. Research Mareike Wieth suggests you’re more likely to experience that “Eureka!” moment while your inhibitory brain processes are at their weakest and your brought meander. So, reschedule your workday so you can get the most out of your creative yawns.

Social Jetlag

Description: Social Jetlag

Social Jetlag

You may be suffering from this contemporary ailment, which leads to obesity, according to a recent study.

Research from the university of Munich (Germany) shows that “social jetlag” is a modern ailment where there’s “an increasing discrepancy between the daily timing of the physiological clock and the social clock”. “As a result of social jetlag, people are chronically sleep-deprived.” Explains researcher Dr. Till Roenneberg in the journal Current Biology. “Now, we show that social jetlag also contributes to obesity.”

We listen to our biological clocks “less and less due to the increasing discrepancy between what the body clock tells us and what the boss tells us. Good sleep and enough sleeps is not a waste of time but a guarantee for better work performance and more fun with friends and family.” Says Dr. Roenneberg. (And slimmer waistlines, too!) The advice to sufferers of social jetlag is to spend more time outdoors in daylight or, failing that, sit near a window when possible.

Blood Test for PND?

Description: Postnatal depression, also known as PND

 Postnatal depression, also known as PND

Scientists at Warwick Medical School (UK) have found a way of identifying who’s most at risk of postnatal depression (PND) by checking for specific genetic variants. This may lead to the development of a blood test that checks for the likelihood of developing PND. The university’s Prof Dimitris Grammatopoulos said about one in seven women suffer from PND. The research shows that PND is a specific subgroup of depression with a distinct genetic element – so some women are genetically more reactive to the environmental factors that trigger depression. “If we can identify these women in advance so they can be treated appropriately and at an early stage, we’ll have improved the lives of the parents and their children,” said Prof Grammatopoulos.

Body Image beyond appearances

Women with good family support and limited pressure to achieve the damaging “thin and beautiful” ideal have a more positive body image. That’s according to a recent study from the University of Arizona (US), which looked at ways to help young women be more positive about their perception of their bodies.

Description: Women with good family support and limited pressure to achieve the damaging “thin and beautiful” ideal have a more positive body image

Women with good family support and limited pressure to achieve the damaging “thin and beautiful” ideal have a more positive body image

Study leader Dr. Shannon Snapp reported that young women with supportive families and low levels of perceived sociocultural pressure from family, friends and the media regarding the importance of achieving the “perfection” ideal had a more positive body image. These women also rejected the “superwomen” ideal, had a positive physical self-concept and were armed with skills to deal with stress.

The researchers’ practical recommendations for prevention programmes aimed at young women at risk of developing negative body image included:

·         Helping women to evaluate and become comfortable with the multiple, and often contradictory, expectations placed on them in today’s society.

·         Teaching them to use effective coping skills.

·         Fostering a positive view of their physical competence through exercise and health.

·         Promoting holistic wellbeing and balance in their lives.

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